Side trip to Caleruega

The Transfiguration Chapel of Caleruega (photo courtesy of Allan Jay Becina)

It was still early in the afternoon when we completed the descent of Mt. Batulao.  That gave us enough time to make a side trip to nearby Caleruega for a bit of sightseeing.  I was looking forward to this because I’ve never been to Caleruega before and I was eager to see what the place offered. Continue reading


First Trip of 2012: Mt. Batulao (again)

(photo courtesy of Karen Reyes)

Yes, I am blogging about an event 5 months after it had occurred. I’m the type of travel blogger who is both excruciatingly slow and places importance on as many details as possible.  (Another valid excuse – I have a job.)

After the understandably detail-heavy Vietnam-Cambodia series, this next entry on Mt. Batulao is light in comparison.  I’ve already blogged about this mountain a few times before, so there’s really no need to restate what details I’ve already shared. Continue reading

Mt. Batulao Travel Guide


  • Drinking water – 1-1.5 liters for day hikes, 2-3 liters for overnight camps
  • Backpack – for better balance and stability
  • Extra dry clothes
  • Cellphone
  • Camera
  • Plastic bags and/or dry sacks – to waterproof gadgets and extra dry clothes
  • Cash in small bills – in case you run out of water, there’s a lot of huts selling drinks
  • Packed lunch – optional
  • Hiking pole – optional Continue reading

Mt. Batulao Solo Climb – 08/20/11

I’ve always said I that had a score to settle with Mt. Batulao.  This is because the first time I went there a few years back, I wasn’t able to conquer its summit.  I was then with a mountaineering group composed of former co-employees.  We intended to camp overnight and attack the summit early the next day but the previous night’s stormy conditions made the trail to the summit exceedingly difficult and so the climb was aborted barely halfway through the entire trail. Continue reading

Two Volcanoes, One Summer (part 2)


Taal Volcano’s crater lake

No one ever refers to Taal Volcano as Mt. Taal, possibly because it’s low elevation does not qualify for the “Mt.” appellation. Despite being considered the “smallest” volcano (and even this description is disputed by geologists) it is one of the country’s most active. It last erupted in 1977, and has erupted some 34-odd times since first being recorded in 1572. Continue reading

Batulao Climb, Part 2 – 08/02/08

(To continue…)

And all throughout, the rain became continuous.  No, it wasn’t a spattering rain that made loud noises as it fell to the earth.  This was very fine rain, which, coupled with the high wind speed, was almost like a spray.  One moment you hear the wind whistling in your ears, the next moment your face is drenched with rainwater. Continue reading


Last August 2, I joined my office’s local mountaineering group for a minor climb at Mount Batulao (in the province of Batangas.)  I should have been blogging about this weeks ago just after the trip, but some tech-related setbacks occurred that caused the delay.

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I’ve always preferred the mountains over the sea but I realized that over the past decade, I’ve been visiting beaches more frequently than the mountains.  That, and the fact that I’ve haven’t left Metro Manila for the past 2 years made me sign up for the Batulao trip.  It was quite exciting because my previous mountain-climbing experience was confined to informal climbs involving barely-challenging peaks (i.e. those that don’t even require backpacks and can be accomplished in a day.)  This climb was an overnight one, which necessitated the bringing of food rations, tents and lots of tissues and wet wipes.

Continue reading